Voluntary Trade is the Fuel for the Economy

I just became a bigger fan of eBay.

They just sent an email out to customers where I live about pending action to impose additional regulatory hardship and taxes on internet purchases based on the state of residence of the purchaser – regardless of whether the seller has a presence in the state.

The subject line of their email:

“Dan:  Oppose Harmful Internet Tax Legislation In Washington State”

eBay email from the Government Relations Team (sad that one is even necessary)

Hi Dan:

The Washington State Legislature is threatening to impose new Internet sales tax burdens on you by penalizing small businesses and your favorite online marketplaces.

A tax proposal introduced by leaders in the Washington State House of Representatives would require retailers and online marketplaces to impose Washington sales tax for any transactions involving Washington buyers, including all out-of-state purchases from even the smallest businesses, artisans and consumers. The alternative? Disclose private information about Washington state buyers and their purchases from online retailers and marketplaces to the Washington Department of Revenue.

Here’s why you should care:

This is a drastic departure from current law. It threatens to increase costs to everyone in Washington who takes advantage of the Internet to buy from small businesses, artisans and even other consumers, undermining the very business model that allows online marketplaces to provide low-cost services and opportunities to Washingtonians.

It jeopardizes your privacy by compelling businesses to turn over information on your Internet purchases to the state – information such as your name, retailer’s name, your billing address, shipping address, and the amount of your purchases.

Other states will follow suit, subjecting Washington-based small businesses and marketplaces to the jurisdiction of tax departments in other states. Imagine every small business—and even the most casual seller in Washington—being subject to audits and tax enforcement by every tax-hungry state and local taxing authority across the country.

For years, eBay has pushed government to eliminate harmful tax burdens for small businesses and consumers – and now we need your help. If you agree that this is bad Internet tax legislation, tell your state legislators.

Participation is easy—just fill out the simple form on our eBay Main Street website. Let your state legislators know that you oppose harmful tax laws that stifle business growth and harm Washington consumers.

Sincerely,
The eBay Government Relations Team


Imposing such a tax would benefit the large players (as most regulations and taxes do) as they can use the compliance costs as a bludgeon against smaller competitors.

Dealing with state, county, municipal and other taxes based on geographical location is already challenging so that entire departments and services are required to manage the process – which of course only the larger businesses can afford (which is exactly why they support measures like this, and even the minimum wage).  It’s like throwing something across the path of somebody running behind you like we see in all those foot-chase scenes in movies.

Continue reading “Voluntary Trade is the Fuel for the Economy”

Sacramento, I Want a Divorce

The ‘Secession Move’ Californians Really Need

By Hinton Bowers


Summer is fast approaching and now that our tummies are sculpted and legs toned, it’s time for break-up season! As a resident of California, I’ve heard a lot of talk about #Calexit for months now following the November election:

I However, do not favor Federal Secession at this time.

California’s Secession Battle flag (Unofficial)

I’m really not interested in humoring temper tantrums. If there were some deep, principled argument being put forward by the liberty minded people of this state, I would feel more sympathetic;

but, let’s not pretend or hope that Calexit is about anything other than…

“I didn’t get my way, so I need a safe space!”

Breaking from The Union, and it’s constitutional protections for the individual (shaky as those rights may be these days), would be the wrong move for California residents. Were secession to pass: between Governor ‘Moonbeam’ and Commissar Feinstein, every non-conformist living in the state would probably be rounded up by SJW storm troopers and interned in ‘pelican bay’ by the end of the year. Would you trust them to draw-up your constitutional charter? To be your new Washington or Jefferson?

F*ck no, you wouldn’t.
Continue reading “Sacramento, I Want a Divorce”

It Has Happened Here…

How Foreign Interventionism ‘Paves the way’ for Domestic Fascism

By Hinton Bowers


1918, as the guns of Europe fell silent in what would be remembered as one of the most horrific wars in human history; half a world away at the New York Central Railroad, out of the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the morning commute, rose a gigantic black pyramid.

(AP Photo)

Under a statue of ‘Nike‘ the Greek goddess of victory: 12,000 German ‘Pickelhaubes’ (Helmets) were stacked in triumph; adorned with flags, columns, cannons, and ornamental eagles…

The entire presentation seemed to shout out,

“The state triumphant!”

This was pageantry of the first order, Mussolini or Stalin would have been proud; had they been American.

It’s claimed that all the assembled gear came from a warehouse in Germany. But symbolic or not, for me, it’s difficult to look at those helmets without imagining the individuals who might have worn them, or how they may have died…

Reminiscent of an American western, these ‘symbolic scalps’ were displayed proudly for weeks.

“But Hinton, fascism could never happen in America.”

“But reader, it already has, it’s happened before…” Continue reading “It Has Happened Here…”

What is Bigotry? Really…

A Case Against Collective Identity

Normally, I try to avoid commenting on Facebook posts. It’s too easy to get bogged down in some long drawn-out battle that inevitably leads nowhere, much like America’s ‘progressive’ foreign policy in the middle east.

But this week, I came across a truly vile statement during an ongoing discussion about immigration. So, I held my nose and jumped head first into the open sewer known as the comments section…

Yuck! Alt-right trolls are ‘the worst’, conflating race with culture and arguing that ‘national destiny’ is somehow predetermined by genetic traits, citing bizarro outdated sudo-science as evidence. Somewhere between debating eugenics and white nationalism it hit me… I’m not going to get through to this guy, it’s just not going to happen; his group identity mindset will not allow him to accept any facts contrary to his nationalist vision, which appears to be simply “White people good. Brown people bad.”

So, I ended the conversation.

The whole encounter was pretty shocking for me. Of course there are people out there like that but, you know, you never really expect to meet one. I know what you’re thinking dear reader:

“Oh Hinton, you’re sooo naive!”

Yeah, fine, guilty as charged I guess. But, truth be told, the whole conversation really got under my skin; I’m writing today frankly, as a kind of exorcism.

It’s healthy to challenge a person’s perspective, even with grotesque ideals, from time to time. It can be constructive for growth, both personally and for the health of society as a whole to be open to ideas. So, I’m choosing to look at this as an opportunity… Continue reading “What is Bigotry? Really…”

Racists and Snowflakes and Elephants!

How Hysteria Distracts from Legitimate Criticisms of the Trump Administration

By Hinton Bowers

When one thinks of mass hysteria, many events in world history leap to mind. From the hanging of witches in Salem, Massachusetts, to the British invasion of Beatle-mania… the most recent panic inducing event (for the left anyway), but certainly not the last, was the election of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States: 

These are only a couple of the overreactions that have been happening daily in this post election cycle, as leftists whip themselves up into a near psychological frenzy, asking: “How could this have happened?” The only explanation? “Racists elected him!” Never-mind the fact that the rust belt has been hollowing-out for years economically, or that middle income people are being squeezed by rising healthcare costs and stagnant wages. “It has to be the Nazis!”

Of course, the facts refute this claim, as several studies show that the same swing vote going for Obama in ’12 went to Trump in ’16; my word, Klan membership must have skyrocketed on November 8th! Continue reading “Racists and Snowflakes and Elephants!”

The Real Gender Gap

By Voluntary Society


​Mother says: “I’m in favor of female genital mutilation”

People: “You MONSTER!”

Mother says: “Just kidding! I meant MALE genital mutilation.”

People: “Oh, that’s cool. at least their penises will be pretty.”

Circumcision.

If you had this done to you or have done it to your child:

I understand that you probably didn’t realize that babies can’t localize pain and feel it all over their bodies. You probably didn’t know that they’ll lose a significant amount of nerve endings affecting their ability to feel pleasure.  You probably believed it was healthier even though it’s been debunked for  having zero hygienic benefits. I don’t judge the people who’ve had it done BEFORE knowing these things…

But NOW that you know, you have a responsibility to help stop the barbaric practice used on defenseless baby boys at a time when they should feel nothing but safe and loved. If nothing else, you owe it to your future children to research what I’ve just told you for yourself before defaulting to socially acceptable barbarism just because it was good enough for your mother’s generation. #endrant


For more in depth information regarding this issue, please watch Stefan Molyneux’s video here (the opening is a tough watch):

USE YOUR WORDS

How Political Violence Makes Us All Slaves

By Hinton Bowers


Slavery was always a hotly contested and controversial issue going back to the founding of the US republic. It’s detractors claiming, rightly, that it denies not just life, or liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, but all three.

These tensions eventually helped lead to the outbreak of state violence known as the American Civil War, but it was arguably precipitated by a very personal event in the spring of 1856…

Out-spoken abolitionist Charles Sumner, a senator from Massachusetts, had changed his party several times over the issue of slavery. Though abolitionists were generally disliked by the public ‘at large’ for inflaming tensions between the north and the south; on this day,  and perhaps unwittingly, Sumner instigated once again for personal liberty. By giving his famous CRIME AGAINST KANSAS speech, he was attempting to block the state-sanctioned expansion of slavery into that territory. Sumner’s speeches were usually fiery and this one was no exception, but then Sumner said something a little different:

“The senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress — who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; — I mean the harlot, slavery.”

Targeting a sponsor of the Kansas pro-slavery bill, Sumner went personal, attacking Andrew Butler, accusing him of both delusion and sexual deviance, this ‘ruffled the feathers’ of many, but as history would record, it was Butlers’ cousin who would take it the most personally… Continue reading “USE YOUR WORDS”

Knowing Which Screw to Turn, and How Far to Turn it

One of our writers here at Actual Anarchy recently had a plumbing issue that required repair.  After all was said and done, the plumber took about 5 minutes to fix the problem.

I recently had a similar experience where we had some rodents in our crawl space under the house chew through our water intake pipes.  It was spraying pressurized water under the house for days before we discovered it (on a Sunday of course!  It seems most of our issues necessitating medical or trade expertise happen on a Sunday for us).  The plumber came out the next morning and was gone 17 minutes later, with the problem fixed.

These situations remind me of that story about a guy needing something fixed and asking how much it would cost. Some pricey, but reasonable number was quoted and agreed to. Then the repair guy spent about 10 seconds fixing the problem. The homeowner was upset and said something like, “all you did was take a screwdriver and turn something a little bit and you’re going to charge me $X-hundred dollars?!?!” Continue reading “Knowing Which Screw to Turn, and How Far to Turn it”